Here’s another Facebook dialogue I’ve been involved in. Through the wonder of Facebook, I’ve re-connected with a guy I went to school with, all the way back to kindergarten. Never actually liked him that much actually. He was kind of a punk.
Well, turns out, he’s turned into a rabid right-wing conservative with a case of Obama-phobia, although he denies that’s the case. He is just convinced that Obama is ruining our nation for our children, grandchildren, great grandchildren … blah, blah, blah.
So, first he puts a post up about how there’s this economics professor, unnamed of course, at a college, unnamed of course, who failed his entire class because they failed his “test” about Obama’s socialism. I provided the link to the Snopes piece about this that pointed out it never happened and if it had, based on the description that floats around out there, what it really shows is that the economics professor had no idea what socialism and communism is.
So, he then posts his comment about how Obama is destroying this nation and says something about why should we be giving free cell phones to poor people. So, I then pointed out to him that the cell phones aren’t actually free and that the relevant program actually started under Ronald Reagan and was extended to include cell phones under GWB and asked the question whether either one of them should be considered socialists or communists.
He, of course, didn’t answer that question. Instead he confused the national debt with the national deficit and then alleged that only 8% of Obama’s cabinet had private sector experience and actually wrote these words … “And they’re running our country??!! Heaven help us!!”
Well, turns out that the guy who did the study that number is based on regrets he ever did the study because for the first time in all of the years of his empirical research he actually strayed from empirical research and made judgment calls in evaluating the data … which, in fact, turns out, it doesn’t support the 8% claim. It took me less than 10 minutes to find that wonderful little piece of information.
There’s a disease spreading across the land. It needs a chapter in the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual). It’s called Obama-phobia. The fear of a black man as President. Characterized by the willingness to believe anything that Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Redstate.com, Fox News, Michael Savage, Laura Ingraham, Anne Coulter, and every other rabid right-winger who similarly can’t stand the idea of a black man as President. Or the idea that the Presidency might actually be held by somebody who cares about all Americans instead of the wealthy and the powerful. By somebody who recognizes that trickle down just means those of us in the middle and at the bottom just get pissed on. By somebody who recognizes that tax cuts don’t produce more revenue. By somebody who recognizes we have a responsibility for our brothers and sisters. By somebody … ah, hell, it doesn’t matter.
These days, we live in a country that is divided based on two sets of different facts. A dilemma that has grown significantly worse in the last five years. There will never be a solution to the problems we face as long as we can’t actually reach agreement about the facts that form the foundation of our existence as a country.